Plato

"Thinking: The Talking of the Soul Itself"

About Plato

  • Born into one of Athens's first noble families
  • Educated in philosophy, poetry, and gymnastics
  • Left Athens when Socrates was put to death
  • Spent time in Sicily and Southern Italy before returning to Athens
  • Founded a school called The Academy, where he taught and was the head
  • The Republic--outlined a society governed by pure wisdom and a philosopher king; expanded upon Socrates's ideas
  • Death: either at a wedding feast OR was serenaded by a flute (which he had ironically banned) as he tapped along with it until he took his last breath


Plato's Philosophy

The Allegory of the Cave

  • Imagine being prisoner in a dark cave
  • You are tied up, facing a blank wall, and can only look forward
  • Behind you is a bright fire--the only light in the room
  • In between you and the fire is another wall, where people can come and hold up objects for you to see
  • These objects cast a shadow of an image--this is the only thing, you the prisoner, can see and therefore percieve it to be
  • If you were to free youurself and see the outside world and true objects, what would you do?

"Earthly Knowledge Is But Shadow"

How Plato's Ideas Apply to the World

  • The world has two parts, that of the physical world and that of the Ideas, which use different parts of the brain
  • Plato believed that reason was the most important ability to have because it lead to the world of Ideas
  • As a result, he believed that philosphers should be the ruling class--they could best understand the exact nature and truth of moral values